The object of the Red Wing project was "To determine the optimum economic uses of electricity in agriculture and to study the value of electricity in improved living conditions on the farm." Although not the first service to farms in the U.S., it was likely the first built as an experiment specifically for collecting and publishing engineering and economic data.
The integration of pump and turbine was the first of many to be installed in power-plant systems in the United States. It was the largest and most powerful in the world. As a "pump storage" unit in the Tennessee Valley Authority's system, it effected significant economies in the generation of electrical energy. The unit was designed by engineers of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Allis-Chalmers Company. It was built by Allis-Chalmers.
This machine, which began operation on December 15, 1891, for the New York Edison Illuminating Company, represents the beginning of large-scale electric power generation in the United States. The generator was designed by chief engineer John Van Vleck, David Joy (known in England for his valve gear), and S. F. Prest.